As technology invades our everyday lives, our quaint homes of years past are becoming cold with wires and metal. But it's too late to give up the 5.1 surround sound or the high-def plasma--we're already hooked. Soon, everybody will have digital libraries of pictures, music, movies and more--and that means even more tech gear invading our living space. So does that mean goodbye, warm and homey; hello, chilly? Not necessarily. Whether for your home or office--or your home office--here are three tech products that blend in with their environments and help bring back the warmth.
Get in the Zone
Wirelessly streaming digital music from your computer throughout your home is exciting for many. But even more impressive is the ability to simultaneously stream jazz in the living room, salsa in the den and classical in the home office. Sonos ZonePlayer allows you to do just that. Another significant bonus: This discreet 10-pound box, roughly 10 inches wide, puts total control in a single wireless handheld controller--filling the room with music, not stacks of stereo equipment and servers. Prices start at $1,199 for the introductory package, which includes two ZonePlayers and one controller; additional ZonePlayers are $499 each.
Mirror, Mirror on the TV
Sometimes, TVs don't need an entire entertainment unit to encase them. In fact, Séura has encased LCD TVs in mirrors--even in the bathroom, so news junkies can get their fix as they get ready in the morning. When turned off, the mirror reflects normally, but when it's turned on, a window in the mirror reveals the rolling hills of TV land. Prices start at $2,999. Now if only they could squeeze a DVD player, DVR and stereo into a mirror, you'd never have to leave the bathroom.
Speakers Should Be Heard, Not Seen
Sure, speakers have gotten smaller and less obtrusive, but even small speakers hanging from the ceiling along with the assortment of other floating tech devices add up to a glut of "concealed" home technologies. Stealth Acoustics' Invisible In-Wall Speaker System makes speakers disappear, eliminating what the company calls "aesthetic pollution." The speakers are mounted in the wall directly on the wood stud framing, seamed with drywall, sealed and painted. Speakers start at $300 each.